How To Bring Fair Trade Into Everyday Life

With the beginning of October, there’s more than fall starting up. You’ve heard plenty about Pumpkin Spice Lattes, suggestions about how to layer scarves and jackets, and why Europe is a great destination for this time of year. What you may not have heard about is that it’s Fair Trade Month! If you’re a supporter of sustainable and ethical fashion, you are probably already familiar with this month and will start receiving ideas from bloggers about where to shop for fair trade and companies will be updating you with the latest about their artisans’ achievements. While there are some controversies about the effectiveness of fair trade, I still think there’s something to be said for fair trade’s goals and principles. In fact, I think we can incorporate them into our daily lives beyond buying coffee, chocolate, and clothing from fair trade companies. Let me show you how: Continue Reading ›

The Truth About Dealing With Change

Change. Some love it. Some hate. Some thrive on it. Some avoid it entirely. Run away from it as much as you try, but change is inevitable. The fall weather is beginning to settle in Chicago, and although I’m not thrilled to see the sun and warm weather go away, change will happen. Nothing stays the same, which is one of the reasons I love fall. I’m excited to figure out layering (especially since I’m not tied to wearing only black) and I can’t wait to see what color and pattern combos are in store, but there’s more to fashion that excites me about fall. This season is one of my favorites because it’s not overwhelmingly hot or cold weather, and it’s a time about transitioning. I always found fall to be a pivotal time in my life, whether it’s a change of location, the beginning of new classes or activities, or the start of a new career. What makes this fall in particular so important? That I’m experiencing change in all of these areas. You might think this is exciting and applaud me for being courageous, but is changing a career, living in a new city, and on new adventures all it’s cracked up to be? Changing my life and city may sound glamorous, but here are a few things I’ve learned from the harsh realities of change: Continue Reading ›

Dreaming of Disney

Halloween is only days away, and it seems like yesterday that I can recall eagerly getting ready for the big event and staying up late in hopes of devouring my entire Trick-or-Treat bag.  To my dismay, my mother ensured my sister and me were covered from head to toe in down vests, long-sleeved shirts, and sweatpants.  Watching my friend Mary Susan skip down the street in a bright green Tinkerbell costume as her blond hair and white glittered wings bounced in front of my face, I could feel the longing of wanting to be a Disney princess or heroine.  I can’t tell you how many times my friends and I jumped up from the beneath the water of our backyard above-ground pool pretending to be Ariel or how often my sister and I played “A Part of Your World” and spun around with blankets pretending it was a magic carpet ride.  Fast forward twenty years later and Halloween becomes a never-ending late night party with plenty of raucous drinking, smoking, and just about anything imaginable.  Disney princesses have lost some of their sparkle and imagination.  Nearly every -ism, dating experience, and prom memory will tell you Life isn’t like a Disney movie.  Although they have a point, thinking back on my favorites, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast, there’s some important lessons Disney got right:

Princess Jasmine

 

 

Don’t wait around for someone unless he’s Prince Charming.  Too often I’ve seen women and men wait for each other, assuming the other person will suddenly change their mind about commitment or have a change of heart and decide they’ve been wrong all along and this relationship is the real thing.  Princess Jasmine is one woman who doesn’t wait around for someone else to be her knight in shining armor.  She goes out on an adventure and she runs into Aladdin, someone who understands her sense of adventure and desire to be known as a person and not for their status.  Her independent spirit continually reminds me, don’t settle for a person, job, or place.  Everyone deserves to have friends, significant others, and employment that brings out the best in them.  If you really want something, you’ll make it happen, no matter the odds.  Money can always be made and saved, the right person will come along when you’re ready, and opportunities don’t wait around forever, you have to grab them when you can. Continue Reading ›